Federal Circuit Denies Early Reversal of Gilstrap Rule That Intervenors Automatically Waive Right to Challenge Venue

June 15, 2018

The Federal Circuit has denied a petition for writ of mandamus filed in a Texas lawsuit by three mattress manufacturers that were prevented from challenging venue after intervening in a case against a reseller of their products. At issue in that lawsuit, filed by Team Worldwide against Wal-Mart, are inflatable mattresses sold by the defendant but made and sold by Bestway, Coleman, and Intex, all of which intervened in the lawsuit on the grounds that they, and not Wal-Mart, were the “true defendants” in the case. However, in February, District Judge Rodney Gilstrap denied the manufacturers’ motion to sever and transfer the claims against them, holding that by intervening they had automatically waived their right to challenge venue. In its June 13 ruling on the manufacturers’ mandamus petition, the Federal Circuit cited the unsettled nature of the law on this particular waiver issue and held that other relief was available to the petitioners, including an appeal following a final judgment (2018-0131).

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